Half of Politico’s Bigwigs Are Leaving This Year

April 7, 2016, 4:23 PM UTC
Photo courtesy of Politico

There have been murmurs for months that a new executive team would be taking shape at Politico after election season.

But now those departures are happening sooner than expected.

President and CEO of Politico Jim VandeHei is leaving the company next week. And he’s not the only one who’ll be exiting the political news site this year.

Two other members of the six-person executive team, chief operations officer Kim Kingsley and chief revenue officer Roy Schwartz are also both slated to leave soon, Politico publisher and editor in chief John Harris wrote in a memo to staff, obtained by Fortune.

VandeHei, the former Washington Post reporter who co-founded the new media company with Harris in 2007, had originally planned to leave Politico after the 2016 election, saying he wants to start another new company. But now Harris says sooner is better:

“Jim and I and agreed that it made sense for him to wrap up his tenure at POLITICO this spring,” Harris wrote in the memo.

(Politico’s chief White House reporter Mike Allen says he’ll also be leaving the company after the election, linking up with VandeHei to start the new business.)

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According to reports from within the company, VandeHei sparred with Politico founder and chairman Robert Allbritton, whose family fortune funded Politico. The two disagreed on budget issues and the company’s expansion, CNN reports.

DC-based Politico has been beefing up its coverage across Europe, opening up bureaus in Brussels and London. Earlier this year, Allbritton said “We are about to experience the most exciting, and I expect most enjoyable, period of expansion in ten years.” According to sources at Politico, Allbritton will be naming a new president to replace VandeHei.

Here’s Politico publisher and editor in chief John Harris’s note on the departures:

From the moment that our friend and co-founder Jim Vandehei announced his departure, he and I worked closely on a smooth transition that worked in the best interests of the publication and its new leadership team. With the publication soaring journalistically and meeting its business goals, operational responsibilities were quickly taken over by the executive team that Robert Allbritton has tasked with leading our publication forward. As we shared with you this morning, in March POLITICO shattered all previous records with 30 million plus unique visitors— the most in company history. Additionally, our total of 180 million-plus page views was up more than 230% from a year ago, and the homepage and POLITICO Magazine (with close to 6 million unique visitors and 15 million page views) also recorded best-ever months. Having not only met but surpassed our goals, Jim and I and agreed that it made sense for him to wrap up his tenure at POLITICO this spring. We have had similiar conversations with Kim Kingsley and Roy Schwartz. Robert agreed with our proposal, confident that the team here now is best-suited to take the wheel as we as plan for 2017 and beyond.

Jim, Kim, and Roy have my thanks and Robert’s for their friendship and the phenomenal work they did over nearly a decade here.

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